Leading Chinese pharmaceutical company Sihuan Pharmaceutical announced March 11 that its application to register Tylerdipine Hydrochloride has been accepted by the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration. The new drug is the first anti-hypertensive developed by Sihuan Pharmaceutical's in-house research and development team.
Sihuan Pharmaceutical is also applying for Investigational New Drug registration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2012, making this the company's first drug with both domestic and overseas registration.
The company believes Tylerdipine Hydrochloride is more effective than current drugs, and can effectively curb hypertension in clinical practice while offering protection to important organs such as the heart and kidneys. It would also significantly reduce the cost of treating hypertension.
Over 200 million Chinese suffer hypertension, a number that grows by more than 3 million each year. The Chinese spend over $5 billion on hypertension treatment. In the United States, hypertension affects approximately 68 million, with treatment costs over $47 billion.
Calcium channel blockers have been in use for decades, but an effective new treatment has the potential to be a blockbuster in both the U.S. and China. Drug development takes years, however, and many promising drugs are found to be useless and discarded along the way.
Sihuan Pharmaceutical trades in Hong Kong, but investors may want to look at the Guggenheim China Small Cap Index ( HAO , quote ), which devotes a small part of its holdings to Sihuan and other pharmaceutical companies.